Hawaii Tattoo: Origins of The Yakuza

The origins of the Yakuza date back to the Tokugawa era in Japan, the time of the Shogun when Tokugawa unified the country.  It was a time of great change in the land of the Rising Sun.

As a result, a half-million samurai ended up unemployed.  If you think things are bad in our economy, imagine what that must have been like…

A bunch of out-of-work highly trained killing machines that needed to eat and have the emptiness filled.  [Editor: Okay, trying a little too hard to tie the samurai tattoo stencil into this but we think you get the point: sh!t got real and real fast!]

Most would go on to become merchants, presumably some farmers, others Ronin or “masterless samurai” who wandered the land.  But still many slid between the lines…


Okay, Tattoo Adam‘s not a criminal, he is the owner of our Waikiki tattoo shop, the best Hawaii tattoo parlor in the state and he’s just holding a painting he did and it’s got a mean-mugging, stink-eyeing looking face that we imagine criminal samurai may look like. Or maybe they looks this:

So now that we got some visuals, back to the story…

As the criminal Samurai attacked towns, Machi-Yokku or “Servants of the Town” started to arise.  It was people who wanted to take care of their neighborhood basically, like a Japanese Neighborhood Watch. Well, the Neighborhood Watch worked so well, it exists today.

And that tattoo enthusiasts, would be how the Yakuza began, a community standing up to protect their villages. [Editor: History’s pretty crazy, huh?]

Stay tuned for more tattoo news, more about the Yakuza and tattoos, and feel free to stop by and holler at us for you free consultation.  Unless you’re an out-0f-work samurai tattooist.  Then we might have some problems…

434 Tattoo
Custom Tattooing LLC.

434 Ena Road
Honolulu, Hawaii


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s